Employer Not Liable for Acts of Cyber-Attacking Worker

December 15, 2006 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - A California state appellate court has ruled that an employer can't be sued for the actions of an employee who uses its computer system to stage a cyber attack.

The California Court of Appeal in San Josehanded down the unanimous ruling this week, concurring with the decision of the lower court, which had decided that Agilent Technologies was immune from liability as an Internet provider under the Communications Decency Act of 1996 for the cyber threats of employee Cameron Moore, Business Insurance reported.


The case was brought by Michelangelo Delfino and Mary Day, who had received threatening anonymous e-mail messages from Moore, then an employee of the Santa Clara , California.-based Agilent.   A Santa Clara, California jury decided in 2001 that Delfino and Day had libeled Varian Medical Systems and two executives by posting more than 14,000 defamatory and often vulgar messages on more than 100 Internet message boards and their own Web site.

Moore’s job was terminated by Agilent after he was arrested in connection with a dispute relating to Delfino, according to the opinion  (See  Courts Find Ex-Workers Electronically Trespass).

The ruling in Michelangelo Delfino et al. vs. Agilent Technologies Inc.is  here .